GRAMMY® Nominated Artist Jonathan Butler to Release New Holiday Album Christmas Together
Los Angeles, CA-- Two-time GRAMMY® nominee, guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler, will release his highly-anticipated new album of holiday collaborations, Christmas Together, on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group October 4, 2019.
Butler’s all-star friends, Sheléa, Dave Koz, Keiko Matsui, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun and Gerald Albright join Jonathan to reimagine nine classic Christmas favorites, such as “Joy To The World,” We Three Kings,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and a new original tune, “Love Is,” written by Butler and Sheléa. Jonathan produced Christmas Together in the intimate setting of his home studio in Southern California.
“Fans are emotionally attached to their holiday favorites and I hope we did a good job selecting some of those tunes for Christmas Together,” says Jonathan. The idea of collaborations on this album clicked and as he says, “made me up my game as a producer and performer. In a sense, we all brought something uniquely special to the recording experience – an experience I hope brings listeners together to celebrate the spirit of the season.”
Butler brings his own distinctive interpretation to these timeless songs, without jeopardizing the integrity of the tunes. “Mary, Did You Know?” offers a soft backdrop with a string quartet. “Joy To The World” saxophone legend Dave Koz on soprano – the Christmas classic is reinvented with an expansive, breezy arrangement that can be described as “uplifting.” “We Three Kings” features Rick Braun’s muted trumpet and valve trombone, infusing a smoky texture and late-night club feel to this polyrhythmic take on this holiday favorite. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” spotlights Keiko Matsui on piano. The magical arrangement almost sounds as if it is dancing on its own. Jonathan and Sheléa co-wrote the sonic sensation “Love Is” for the album and provide the smooth harmonies on the original tune.
And in a recent move, the international arts education nonprofit based in South Africa, Lalela, announced Jonathan Butler appointed as their first Global Celebrity Entertainment Ambassador. In this role, Jonathan’s work will help raise awareness, funds, and additional support for the organization. Lalela provides educational arts for at-risk youth from South African townships to Hunts Point in the South Bronx to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. The organization was honored that one of their twelfth graders was selected to contribute artwork for Jonathan’s new album cover saying, “We’re all extremely excited and proud at Lalela that this opportunity has been granted to one of our students, as he without a doubt represents the dreams and ambitions of most of his fellow learners.” The nonprofit will be selling a Lalela scarf featuring the design, offering donors a truly sustainable way of giving with 100% of the proceeds from each scarf going directly to Lalela's educational programs.
And this Christmas, you won’t find Jonathan Butler relaxing at home by a fire. He’ll hit the road on the 17-city Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour to perform songs from his new holiday album. The run of dates kicks off on November 29 in Sarasota, Florida.